news from our new blue edge

June 2014


Toronto named Intelligent Community of the Year

Waterfront Toronto's John Campbell, CEO and Kristina Verner, Director, Intelligent Communities with IBM's John Longbottom, Executive, Smarter Cities Strategy.

Last week, Toronto was named the Intelligent Community of the year from the New York-based Intelligent Community forum. The title is awarded to the community that best creates inclusive economic opportunity and improves competitiveness through the use of broadband and information technology to collaborate, innovate, attract investment, improve the delivery of government services and raise the quality of life for its citizens.  

Toronto performed impressively against a set of diverse criteria and the efforts of its academic, creative and private sectors, as well as its City Council leadership, to ensure the continued success of the entire community. This has led to increased global competitiveness and sustained economic growth through the attraction of investment and talent.

The Intelligent Community Forum, which studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology and create jobs. Although the award belongs to the entire city, Waterfront Toronto has played a leadership role both in building intelligent communities and in leading the campaign to win this award.



More affordable housing coming to the waterfront

An artist's rendering of an aerial view of the Bayside Toronto development at night.

Toronto City Council has approved a plan to develop 80 affordable rental homes within a market condominium building in the emerging Bayside development in East Bayfront. This innovative new affordable housing development will be built and operated through a partnership among the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, Hines/Tridel and Artscape. The 80 affordable units will be owned by the City and operated by Artscape. Construction is expected to be completed by 2018-2019.

Building neighbourhoods for people of all income levels and life stages is a key part of Waterfront Toronto’s revitalization model. This new development will help fulfil our commitment that 20 per cent of residential units in new waterfront communities be affordable rental housing. In addition to this project in East Bayfront, several affordable housing projects are also underway in the West Don Lands.



Our new Waterfront Toronto blog

At the half-way point in our twenty-year mandate, we realized that we have stories to share. Last month, we launched our new blog to help do this.

Waterfront revitalization touches on so many important issues – from making great new communities, parks and public spaces, sustainable development, urban design, economic development, leading technology infrastructure – and because of this we realized we wanted to create a platform to share our stories.

Our new blog – playfully titled On the Waterfront is meant to be a place where you can learn more about what we’re doing and how it affects Toronto, Ontario and Canada. We have lots to say about what we’ve done, why we’ve done it, how we’ve done it and even what we’ve learned along the way. We also have stories to share about the many great partners we’ve worked with and how their ideas have inspired us.

We want this blog to be a place where you can get a better sense of what we care about; everything from new ideas, case studies and projects to designs, works of art and buildings. You’ll be hearing from various members of the Waterfront Toronto team who can bring their personal and professional experiences to our stories. And it won’t be just us posting. Along the way, we will be featuring posts from our partners and others whose ideas we think are worth sharing.

Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think, or share an idea with us; email us at, or engage with us on Twitter (@WaterfrontTO) or Facebook.



In brief

Port Lands planning initiatives underway

Members of the public attended a public meeting on May 15 to review the draft vision, the draft guiding principles and a number of options for how the Villiers Island (Cousins Quay) precinct could be developed. View an album of photos from the public meeting…

Sherbourne Common retrofit
The water is flowing again in Sherbourne Common’s 240-metre long channel. With a minor retrofit to the concrete channel now complete, the park is ready for visitors just in time for the summer season. More about the retrofit...

Kick off summer with a splash
With over 100 splash pads now open across the city be sure to visit the ones along the water's edge. Read about some of the nicest ones, in our humble opinion…

Canada's Sugar Beach is a 2014 Great Place
Canada’s Sugar Beach has received a prestigious 2014 Great Places Award for excellence in environmental design. The award honours projects that “engage our attention and imagination.” Read more...


Construction update: Queens Quay Revitalization


Granite and streetcar work

With the majority of underground work now complete, crews are making tremendous progress on the streetcar corridor rebuild and the new granite promenade and sidewalks across Queens Quay.

  • TTC Rebuild: Over the last month, rail was installed across the major intersections on Queens Quay. The Lower Simcoe and Lower Spadina intersections have re-opened.  The York intersection will re-open before the Canada Day long weekend followed by the Rees intersection. Streetcar poles are beginning to be installed in preparation for TTC crews to begin commissioning the line.
  • Granite Promenade and Sidewalks: Over the last month, crews completed a large stretch of granite mosaic promenade in front of Ontario Square ahead of schedule. Crews are also making good progress on the promenade at HTO East. On the north side of the street, granite sidewalks are mostly complete from the York Street ramp to Rees Street. During the revitalization of Queens Quay more than 2.5 million pieces of granite are being installed by hand along our main waterfront street.

Work is also underway on the new roadway. To date, crews have completed the base course of asphalt in the Lower Simcoe intersection and have completed the excavation between York Street and Lower Simcoe Street. The new roadway will be completed by the late fall.
For an update on the project schedule, more detailed construction updates and to sign up for the Queens Quay construction notice which is posted each Friday afternoon please check the Queens Quay construction webpage.


Video: A look under Queens Quay
Toronto’s main waterfront street is being completely transformed into an lively and active urban waterfront. But the makeover isn’t limited to above ground improvements.

In this video, we'll peel back the pavement to show what we're building underground and how that is coordinated with the landscape work we can see above ground.

Queens Quay webcams
Keep an eye on construction from your computer or mobile device using our Queens Quay Webcams.

Need more information?
Thank you for your patience during construction. If you have questions send an email to or call 416-214-9990.

For urgent construction issues
Please contact Queens Quay Construction Liaison Officer, Robert Pasut at or call 416-505-3073.


Construction update: Bayside


Construction is progressing well on required infrastructure for the Bayside Toronto development in East Bayfront. Last month, crews focused their efforts on several key activities along the west leg of Merchants’ Wharf (the main street in Bayside). Highlights of work in this area include:

  • Completion of deep sanitary and storm sewer construction.
  • Significant progress on storm catch basins and water mains with remaining work expected to be complete by the end of June.
  • Toronto Hydro began the installation of its distribution network which will be followed by other telecommunication utilities.
  • Shoring for Bayside’s 12 metre diametre stormwater management shaft was completed and excavation for the shaft is now underway.

Excavation has also begun for the new sewers planned along the southern leg of Merchants' Wharf. At the water's edge on the west side of the site, the dockwall reinforcing work has been substantially completed and backfilled. This allows landscape work to start for the water's edge promenade which will be extended east from Sherbourne Common across the Bayside site. 


Bayside Street Names Approved

Three new waterfront street names have been approved by Toronto East York Community Council following our ‘Help Name a Waterfront Street’ contest earlier this spring. Read more about the new names.



Construction update: Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District

A view from Corktown Common showing the construction progress on the Pan Am Athletes' Village/Canary District.

The reconstruction of the intersection at King Street and Sumach Street is complete and was opened to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the end of May. The reconstruction work on the west side of Sumach Street between King Street and Eastern Avenue is nearing completion with only some miscellaneous items remaining. On the east side of Sumach Street work continues with TTC rails scheduled for installation at the end of June. Work on the median, sidewalks and other public realm improvements are scheduled to continue throughout the summer.

Cherry Street between Mill Street and Lake Shore Boulevard has reopened to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  The remainder of Cherry Street is scheduled to open later this year. On Old Eastern Avenue, crews are completing final miscellaneous items. A portion of Old Eastern Avenue is scheduled to open later this summer.
Concrete base and the installation of unit pavers and light poles on local streets continues to progress. The remaining silva cells are being installed along Front Street and tree planting has begun.

YMCA/George Brown College
The installation of doors, suite washroom millwork and plumbing fixtures continues at the George Brown College student residence, and framing and drywall continues to progress.  At the YMCA, installation of the elevators is now complete and the commissioning of the mechanical and electrical equipment has commenced. Drywall and pool finishes, including tiling, are ongoing.
Affordable Housing Buildings
The elevators are complete and the Technical Standards & Safety Authority approved at both the Fred Victor and Wigwamen buildings. Interior finishes are also complete in both buildings The fire alarm and commissioning process and the installation of temporary drywall partitions for use during the games are in progress on the P1 level in both buildings. Perimeter landscaping is ongoing and the green roofs will be installed in the coming months. 
Canary District Condominiums
At the first market housing condominium - Canary District Condominiums - the mechanical and electrical installation, and framing and drywall continue to progress in the north and south towers, while painting, vanity and tile installation continues. The installation of the elevators is ongoing.
At the second market housing building - Canary Park Condominiums – progress continues.  Corridor framing is complete. Mechanical and electrical installations are in progress and framing and drywall continues. The installation of gypsum board, windows, elevators and roofing is in progress for both the north and south towers, as well as the interior suite door installation and washroom tiling.
For more information on the award winning Canary District visit their brand new presentation centre located at 398 Front Street (parking available off Trinity Street). View the live construction feed.



Construction update: Toronto Community Housing

The seniors building on King Street in the foreground with the family buildings behind.

Toronto Community Housing’s three-building development located at 589 King Street East in the West Don Lands has reached a significant milestone. The three building, 243-unit development will provide affordable rental units for families and seniors.

The seniors building on King Street, an eight storey building that offers 128 affordable rental units for seniors is complete. Toronto Community Housing recently applied for an Occupancy Permit, which when received will allow seniors to move into their suites.    
Progress also continues at the family buildings and on exterior landscaping features. At the River Street family building suites are nearing completion and pre-delivery inspections continue. At the St. Lawrence Street building the installation of interior finishes continues to progress. Landscaping throughout the development continues to progress.



Redpath Waterfront Festival returns

The Redpath Waterfront Festival is taking over two kilometres of Toronto’s waterfront – from Spadina to Sherbourne – with action packed activities that promise something for everyone. This weekend, visitors can enjoy live music and entertainment, cuisines and cultural celebrations at various waterfront locations, including Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common.

The festival welcomes the Flyboard North American Championships, where visitors can watch pilots perform backflips, 180’s, Supermans and of course, dolphin dives into Lake Ontario at Harbour Square Park. Stop by Canada’s Sugar Beach and relax by the water at the Toronto Wine and Spirits Festival while the EMERGE Artists Showcase entertains the crowd, or celebrate WorldPride in the sand at the Sweetness Pride Beach Party.

At Sherbourne Common, visitors can check out the 2014 DockDogs World Qualifying Championships. Watch dogs of all sizes and breeds compete to break world records in jumping and swim retrieval. Families can bounce on over to the Kids Zone at HTO Park East for fun and interactive games for all ages. Check out all the Redpath Waterfront Festival events here. 


Flyboard® demonstrations at last year's Redpath Waterfront Festival.

Singing Ambassadors are back!
The award-winning Singing Ambassadors will return next week to serenade Toronto’s waterfront this summer. Presented by The Waterfront BIA, these eight lively ambassadors offer assistance, directions and recommendations to visitors, as well as impromptu a cappella performances. Spot the ambassadors for fabulous free prizes!


Port Union Waterfront Festival

Community groups in southeast Scarborough welcome all members of the community to the Port Union Waterfront Festival on Saturday, June 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The festival will be held at the Port Union Village Common and includes a 5km and 10km walk/run along the waterfront trail, carnival rides, live music featuring local bands, free popcorn and candy floss, as well as a community BBQ. Get more information about the Port Union Waterfront Festival.


Residents enjoy the carnival games at last year's festival.


June is National Aboriginal History Month

Come celebrate National Aboriginal History Month on the waterfront this Saturday, June 21 at the Museum of Inuit Art, located inside the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building. Take a self-guided historical tour of highlights from the museum's art collection before joining curator, Alysa Procida at 3:00 p.m. for a public lecture on the historic development of modern Inuit art.

In addition, a film screening of the documentary Martha of the North will be shown at 4:00 p.m., as part of a series throughout the month of June highlighting important historical moments for Inuit. See more information on these events.


The Museum of Inuit Art celebrates National Aboriginal History Month with a variety of activities.


Celebrate Canada Day at the Waterfront

The water’s edge is the place to be this Canada Day weekend, June 27-July 1 with Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day Extravaganza, featuring live music, a history exhibit and a stunning fireworks display.

Don’t miss performances by the SoundClash Music Award finalists and help crown the winner by voting for your favourite musical group. Get a good spot at Canada Square, the best place to watch a spectacular 20-minute 2-barge fireworks display set to music on Toronto's central waterfront on June 30. Get the full event details and schedule here.


Last year's fireworks display along the water's edge at Harbourfront Centre - Photo Credit Riley Wallace


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